Amsterdam, The Netherlands, November 7, 2007 – Kiadis Pharma B.V., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing treatments for blood cancers, today announces that its lead product ATIR has been granted orphan drug designation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for immune reconstitution and prevention of Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. ATIR is currently in phase I/II clinical studies and anticipated to enter clinical phase III studies in 2008.
“This is an important strategic milestone in the development of ATIR as a novel approach which may enable a safe and potentially life-saving mismatched bone marrow transplantation as a treatment option for end-stage blood cancer patients” said Dr. Manja Bouman, Chief Executive Officer of Kiadis Pharma.
The FDA’s orphan drug designation is reserved for new therapies being developed to treat diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. The orphan drug designation provides for an accelerated review process, tax benefits, exemption from user fees and a seven-year period of market exclusivity in the US after product approval.
ATIR is under development to prevent life-threatening GvHD, a major complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantations. GvHD is a condition caused by the donor immune cells attacking the patient’s tissues and organs. Allogeneic bone marrow transplantations today require that the patient and donor immune systems (HLA type) are highly similar in order to reduce the risk of GvHD and therefore rely on matching donors. By preventing the occurrence of GvHD, ATIR enables the use of a mismatched donor and consequently addresses a significant limitation in bone marrow transplantation, the timely availability of a donor.
Every year between 50,000 and 60,000 patients die of blood cancers in the United States alone. For these end-stage and high-risk blood cancer patients bone marrow transplantation is the only treatment option. In addition, a number of other hematological diseases can be cured by bone marrow transplantations. However, annually only about 2,500 patients in the United States receive a transplantation with bone marrow from an unrelated matched donor despite the approximately 60,000 worldwide initiated searches for a matching donor in the donor registries.
ATIR™ is a T‑cell based medicinal product enabling stem cell transplantations using partially mismatched (haploidentical) family members as donors for patients suffering from blood cancer who do not have a standard of care stem cell donor available. A hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only potentially curative option for many patients but a matching donor is available for only half of the patients in need. ATIR™ thus has the potential to address this unmet need and to make an HSCT available for all patients worldwide.
Those T‑cells in a haploidentical graft which would cause Graft-versus-Host-Disease (GvHD) are selectively eliminated using proprietary technology to produce ATIR™. ATIR™ is administered as an adjunctive treatment after a T‑cell depleted haploidentical HSCT facilitating early immune reconstitution without causing life‑threatening (acute) GvHD.
In a Phase I/II study in which high‑risk leukemia patients with very poor prognosis were treated with escalating doses of ATIR™ after a haploidentical HSCT, long‑term safety, efficacy and proof of concept were confirmed in terms of absence of Grade III/IV (life‑threatening) acute GvHD, reduced rates of infection, reduced Transplant Related Mortality and high Overall Survival. Positive follow‑up results from this study demonstrating 67% survival after five years and no Transplant Related Mortality in the nine patients who received an efficacious dose of ATIR™ were recently reported.
An international multi‑center Phase II study including patients with acute myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, to corroborate and extend the safety and efficacy results from the Phase I/II study, is now ongoing with topline data expected in the first half of 2014.
ATIR™ has been granted Orphan Drug Designation both in the EU and the USA. Together, both regions represent a combined primary market potential of more than EUR 1 billion per year.
About Kiadis Pharma
Kiadis Pharma B.V. is a private, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative and potentially life‑saving therapies for patients with late stage blood cancers and related disorders, an area of significant unmet medical need.
Kiadis Pharma’s lead product is ATIR™, a cell based product designed to enable stem cell transplantations from partially mismatched (haploidentical) family donors. Kiadis Pharma is collaborating with internationally renowned centers in Europe and North America for the successful development and manufacturing of ATIR™. Kiadis Pharma recently obtained a GMP manufacturing license and GMP certificate for its Quality Control laboratory.
Kiadis Pharma is supported by a strong group of leading international investors including LSP, Alta Partners, DFJ Esprit, Quest for Growth, MedSciences Capital and NOM. Kiadis Pharma is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.